Bil Browning

Judy Shepard meets Obama in Oval Office

Filed By Bil Browning | May 21, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Judy Sheppard, Matthew Shepard, Oval Office, photograph

President Barack Obama meets with Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, in the Oval Office Wednesday, May 20, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Sheppard_Obama.jpg

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To be honest, I'm not all that impressed with Judy Shepard. Every time I hear or read something she's said about LGBT rights, she always focuses solely on gay and lesbian rights, and has repeatedly inferred that transgender rights are a less urgent issue for another day.

A pity we'll never see a picture like this of Obama and a trans rights activist, but I've now long since given up hope that Obama and his administration actually care much about transpeople. I don't think it's at all a coincidence that the last time we heard him address trans rights was well before the election.

One day we'll learn: It doesn't matter what the political climate is or who's in the White House. Democrats continue to run scared from real American equality. The only difference between now and a few years ago is that instead of saying they oppose (most of) our rights they now just ignore us and our issues as much as they possibly can, just like the Clinton Administration did for most of its existence.

"A pity we'll never see a picture like this of Obama and a trans rights activist"

Um, well I seem to remember this getting posted on this same blog:

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/03/a_picture_from_a_new_perspective_-_insid.php

There's no picture of Mara with the President, I guess, since she was in the audience, not on stage, but she was invited to the event. But I don't see why it would be an unrealistic goal to shoot for a trans rights activist on stage at some future such signing (ENDA?).

What happened to the possibility of Obama issuing an executive order to modify the federal Equal Employment Opportunity policy to include transpeople?

It's great and certainly a step forward that Mara was invited to that event, but that's not the same as actually meeting with the President to discuss trans issues.

I think the problem really boils down to the reality all the available evidence seems to suggest: Obama and his staff just don't consider LGBT rights a high priority right now, or maybe ever.

The "meeting" lasted at most 90 seconds.

"Obama pauses for 90 second photo-op with Mary Shepherd" would have been an accurate headline.

They were supposed to have 10 minutes, but you know how these things are, more important issues have to be dealt with.

Paige Listerud | May 22, 2009 2:37 AM

Really. Did he say anything about the passage of the hate crimes bill during that 90 seconds? If not, why are we looking at this?